Entertaining Mr. Stone” were just that at the regular Sunday afternoon session on February 18 at the Ypres Castle Inn in the Gun Garden, Rye.
Steve Stone [Guitar, Vocals], Phil Law [Keyboard] and Paul Brasington [Violin] kicked off with a Johnny Cash cover ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ and followed with a couple of original numbers, ‘Making Love’, lyrical and jaunty with a driving rhythm, and ‘Don’t let me Fall’ described by Steve as a “waltzing ballad” which featured a particularly plaintive violin from Paul Brasington.
‘Enemy’, a dark love song, gave the band an opportunity to blend their instruments to enhance the richness of Steve Stone’s voice in this number.
‘Tonight’s the Night’ changed the mood with lyrics evocative of youth and ‘Terraced House’ was a bit of guitar and violin led social commentary reminiscent of Billy Bragg while Phil Law sat out and incited a clapping crowd.
The band have a fairly eclectic style and choice of material which works well and they illustrated this by belting out a Tommy Tucker twelve-bar, ‘High-heel Sneakers’ which unleashed Phil Law on piano.
They closed the first set as they began with a Johnny Cash song ‘When the Man Comes Around’.
The second set carried on the love theme of the gig and featured a couple of Leonard Cohen numbers, ‘Dance Me to the End of Love’ and ‘Tower of Song’ followed by ‘Stand By Me’ the Ben E. King classic which no band should be without.
One of Steve Stone’s originals, ‘Wolf’ had the crowd howling and the encore was Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’.
Well, certainly a very good afternoon. We just kept hanging on.
The next Sunday Session on 25 February 4 – 6pm : Claire Hamill
Photo: Gerard Reilly